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Tibet Became Part of China 700 Years Ago

An imposing array of valuable cultural relics on display at the Sagya Monastery in Lhasa prove that Tibet became part of China in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and has remained under the administration of the central government of China since then.

According to the historical records of the monastery, Kublai Khan, the founding emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, asked Phags-pa, head of the Sagya Monastery, to be his spiritual guide, or a senior official of the central government, after he created the Yuan Dynasty in 1271.

Lozhub Jaco, an abbot of the monastery, showed a Xinhua reporter in an exclusive interview Monday a fresco depicting a meeting between Kublai Khuan and Phags-pa. Though the fresco has worn with time, the picture can be clearly seen.

"Prior to the historical meeting, Sapan Kongah Gyaincain, the fourth chief of the Sakya Sect, spoke with the grandson of Genghis Khan, Emperor Taizu of the Yuan Dynasty, on details about Tibet's merger with China," said Lozhub Jaco said.

Sapan's letter calling all sect members to obey orders of the Yuan Dynasty was recently placed on the top protection list of the Tibet Museum. The words of "Paying tributary sincerely and quite willing to be loyal subjects" can be clearly seen. Built in 1073, the Sakya Monastery, located 450 km west of Lhasa, has long enjoyed nearly the same fame as the Dunhuang Grottoes for its large collection of Buddhist scriptures, valuable porcelain and vivid wall paintings dating back to nearly 1,000 years ago. The most valuable objects in the collection are ancient vases presented by emperors of different periods of the Yuan Dynasty to the leader of the Sakya sect. Other valuables include a jade bowl, a gold-plated Buddha, imperial shoes and a gold seal. Other exhibits, on display at the Tibet Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of Tibet's peaceful liberation, show that the Yuan Dynasty divided Tibet into three military areas with 15 districts. The museum contains letters of appointments of Tibetan officials by emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the certificates and seals appointing Dalai and Panchan lamas by emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

It also holds a picture showing the ceremony of the 14th Dalai Lama ascending to the holy throne as presided over by Kuomintang government officials as well as documents on the peaceful liberation of Tibet between the central government and the government of Tibet.

Xerab Nyima, a Tibetan scholar, said it is irrefutable that Tibet has not been separate from the motherland since it came under the rule of the Yuan Dynasty 700 years ago. However, the Dalai Lama and some people in the west still preach the independence of Tibet. It is ridiculous, he said.

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